How to Propagate Ice Plants in 2 Simple Ways

Want to know how to propagate ice plants? Ice plants are hardy succulents that are native to South Africa, so they thrive best in warm and dry climates.

Many people love ice plants because of their short and spiky leaves and the flowers that bloom during summer and fall. The flowers come in different colors, such as bright orange, pink, purple, white, or bright red.

 

How to Propagate Ice Plants in 2 Simple Ways

How to Propagate Ice Plants

Ice plants look better when they’re planted together, so homeowners propagate their ice plants and plant them next to each other. There are two ways you can propagate these plants: seeds or cuttings. Here’s how:

 

Seeds

You can grow ice plants from seeds by sprinkling them on a well-drained potting mix. Don’t cover your seeds as it needs light to germinate. Where you place your seeds depends on your USDA hardiness zone.

If you belong to zones 9b to 11, you can keep your seeds outside. On the other hand, zones 9a and below should keep their seeds inside, but make sure you provide them with enough light.

 

Cuttings

Another way to propagate ice plants through cuttings. You can cut your plants during the spring, summer, or fall seasons.

Cut a section of the stem and give it time to callous before inserting it in well-aerated soil. Only water the cuttings when the soil is completely dry.

When cutting the stems, make sure to use sharp gardening shears or scissors. Additionally, sterilize your shears before cutting to avoid the spreading of infectious diseases that could affect your plants.

 

How to Take Care of Your Ice Plants

Now that you know how to propagate your ice plants, the next thing you should know is how to keep them alive and healthy. Here are some of the factors you should keep in mind:

 

Temperature

Even though they’re called ice plants, these plants cannot survive in cold temperatures. They prefer to be planted in temperatures between 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, which is usually located in zones 9b to 11b.

If you live in areas with lower temperatures, consider growing your plants in a greenhouse or a container. If you choose the latter, be sure to bring your plants inside when the temperature drops.

 

Lighting

Ice plants love the sunlight, so it’s best to place them under direct sunlight for most of the day. If this isn’t possible, a partial shade is the next best thing. If you’re growing your ice plants indoors, place them near a bright window to expose them to sunlight.

 

Watering

Just like other succulents, you don’t need to water ice plants frequently because it could lead to root rot. Only water your plants when the soil is completely dried out. Stick your finger into the soil (about two to three inches) to see whether your plant needs watering or not.

When you do water your ice plants, make sure that the soil is completely soaked before you stop watering. If you planted your plants in a container, water them until you can see the water drain from the pot.

 

Soil

The amount of water you give your plants go hand in hand with the soil you use. As mentioned, a well-draining potting mix is the best choice because the longer water stays in the soil, and your plant will be more susceptible to root rot.

You can opt to use a potting mix specially made for cacti or succulents. These potting mixes usually dry out faster than regular soil.

You can also make your own potting mix by making your soil more porous. Add a mixture of sand and perlite or pumice.

 

Why Should You Grow Ice Plants in a Mini Greenhouse?

There are several benefits to growing your plants inside a mini greenhouse. Here are some of them:

 

Protect your plants from pests and diseases

Mealybugs and scales are some of the common pests that infest ice plants. As for diseases, downy mildew affects these plants the most. If you grow your ice plants inside a mini greenhouse, this lowers the risk of pest infestation and infections that could come from neighboring plants.

 

Great for people with limited space

A mini greenhouse is ideal for people with limited gardening space. Small greenhouses have a standard size of six feet, allowing you to place them on your balconies, patios, and backyards. There are smaller ones available as well and you can even place them on tabletops.

 

Create a microclimate for your plants

If you live in colder areas, you can use a greenhouse to grow warm-weather plants like ice plants. With the help of insulation, ventilation, and heating systems, you can create your own microclimate regardless of the weather outside. You don’t have to wait for the weather to warm to grow crops and other plants.

 

Shield your plants from extreme weather

Snow, frost, and ice can kill even the most cold-tolerant plants. Placing your plants inside a mini greenhouse shields them from extreme weather conditions. You can keep your plants healthy in a mini greenhouse and once the weather becomes friendly enough you can transplant your plants outside.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Propagate Ice Plants

Knowing how to propagate ice plants ensures that you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful and colorful blooms throughout the summer and fall season. Make sure to keep these tips in mind so you can successfully propagate and grow ice plants.

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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